Law Quadrangle (formerly Law Quad Notes)


The following essay is based on the author's keynote address to the annual meeting of the Labor and Employment Law Section of the California State Bar in fall 2005. A version appeared in the September 2005 issue of California Labor and Employment Law Review and appears here with permission of the Labor and Employment Law Section of the State Bar of California.

For the workers in the Rust Belt of the United States, concentrated in Southern New England, Western New York State, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, and Illinois, it doesn't make much difference whether their jobs are outsourced or lost to North Carolina or Mexico or China. In any event the sources of income that have existed for generations are gone and the economic and psychic pains are much the same. Nonetheless, for the purposes of national policy it plainly matters whether the work is moving to another part of the country or is leaving the United States entirely. I am going to focus on what has become a growing concerne everywhere in this country - the flight of jobs abroad as business seeks the advantages of dramatically lower wage scales. That is known as offshore outsourcing or contracting.